Holy fuck. I am without words.
Jeton Gutierrez-Bujari

Thanks, man. Fellow UC Davis alum. Very cool. To be honest, it’s never really easy to regurgitate, true. But it’s all relative, in that it’s a hell of a lot easier to write about it than it was to live much of it.

What made the story of this chapter interesting was that much of my family didn’t know about what happened the day Mark died, including my parents. I never talked about it. My parents asked if I wanted to see a therapist, and my attitude was exactly like what’s in the story: “No thanks, I’m good.” So for them, reading this story was the first time many had heard any of the details. I didn’t realize, for example, that most of my family didn’t know Mark was still alive when I first found him. They just heard “died of an overdose” and assumed I found him dead. Little things like that made the writing of some of this really, really dark shit make me feel like there was a plan in play much bigger than just writing about a story.

I also think this chapter, in particular, is the easiest for many people to relate to… well — true, few people had a heroin addicted uncle show up on their doorstep when they were 14. But how many of us had our adolescence just sideswiped and split into two by some force beyond our control? Divorce, physical abuse, sexual abuse, etc. A lot of people had life hit them with a cheap shot while they were in their teens and it fucked them up for a long time afterward. I think, if anything, that’s where the power in this story is. Not so much in my own unique experience, but in what others can extrapolate from it and find something to relate to.

Thanks again for reading!